Londoners are working from home primarily to avoid the time and cost of commuting to the office, according to research which shows most believe they are unlikely to return for five days in the office.
Cuts to public transport and the high cost of fares are having a major deterrent effect on workers who commute to the office daily, while traffic congestion and soaring petrol and diesel prices, which have reached a new peak this week, make car travel unattractive, the survey found.
Only 10% of workers said they thought they would return to the office full-time, compared to 73% who told King’s College London researchers that working from home at least one day a week would be a permanent feature of modern life .
Older and younger respondents gave the same positive response to working from home, as did those who vote Labor and Conservative, although more Labor supporters than Conservatives were in favor of working from home.
Tara Reich, human resource management expert at King’s College Business School, said: “The ability to work from home has given many London workers a sense of control they don’t want to give up.
Among those who say they have felt positive impacts from working from home, avoiding the daily commute was seen as the main benefit by 80%, followed by the ability to manage social responsibilities from home for 66% – 71% of women citing this as an advantage. compared to 60% of men.
The report should alarm London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London leaders, who need people to return to previous levels of commuting from next year when the government plans to self-fund the system. capital transportation.
Other cities, where workers are likely to have an equally positive view of working from home, are also likely to see the results as a blow to the revitalization of central shopping districts and the plans of tram operators, buses and trains to restore more frequent services.
Many employers reported that staff preferred to work Tuesday through Thursday in the office and reported resistance to a return to pre-pandemic office work levels.
Amanda Jones, senior lecturer in organizational behavior at the business school, said: “Many more people now have experience working remotely, while organizations and individuals have invested heavily in equipment and training, and those who were forced to work remotely during the shutdowns developed remote working. – work strategies.
“As a result, many more people not only have the ability to work remotely, but consider it a normal practice, rather than an exceptional and potentially stigmatizing one.”
The only concern revealed by respondents in the survey was for young workers, who around half believed they would miss out on career opportunities and vital work experience.
The survey of 2,001 people at work found that 56% think senior management want staff to come to the workplace more often, while just 16% said managers approve of working from home.